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Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia

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Abstract

This paper analyzes long-term effects of skilled-worker immigration on productivityfor the Huguenots migration to Prussia. We combine Huguenot immigration lists from1700 with Prussian firm-level data on the value of inputs and outputs in 1802 in aunique data base. In 1685, religious persecution drove highly skilled Huguenots out ofFrance into backward Brandenburg-Prussia where they were channeled into towns tocompensate population losses due to plagues during the Thirty Years’ War. Exploitingthis settlement pattern in an instrumental-variable approach, we still find causal effectsof Huguenot settlement on the productivity of textile manufactories hundred years aftertheir immigration.

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